I have some BIG news I have been chomping at the bit to share with you all, my insanely amazing community of readers, on the eve of Ellis’ first birthday no less. Many of you have asked me “When are you going to write a book?” or even told me emphatically “You have to write a book!” Every time I heard it I would smile because there have been many things going on behind the scenes I wasn’t able to share, until now that is.
So a book, I have been on a journey with a book...
Believe it or not the very first person to encourage me to write a book was my husband Joel. He believed in me and cheered me on from the very beginning of my blogging journey 5 1/2 years ago. I started writing a book way back then thinking it would be solely about our cancer journey. I got many chapters in and stopped for a while when we had Milo, Joel’s cancer returned and life got hard again.
After Joel died I wrote a few more chapters because my memory was already starting to block out a lot of the painful details of those traumatic last few months with him. I wanted to remember them, so I methodically wrote them down, sometimes through tears.
After I finished I put the book at the back of my mind, yet again, because I was pregnant with Ellis.
Then she was born and well…you guys know what happened…
In the midst of her stay in the hospital our story traveled all around the world. One person it happened to reach was an incredible literary agent who contacted me about signing on with her to represent me. She believed in our family, in the power of our story and wanted the world to get a chance to hear it. In the chaos of the first few months of Ellis being home I again put it to the back of my mind, until one day I felt the Lord firmly say, “It’s time.”
I contacted Blythe, told her I was ready and signed on with her as my agent.
Dream #1 realized.
I then spent another few months reworking all of the chapters I had previously written and spending any extra spare minute I had writing the new chapters of Ellis’ story, molding and merging the journey of my guy and my baby girl into a story for the ages. At the same time Blythe and I started the extremely tedious process of writing up our book proposal.
Finally, months later, we submitted it to publishers. I stepped off the ledge and held my breath.
I waited and waited. Turns out things in the publishing world are not exactly fast moving.
It was another couple month process of prayer and relinquishing the dream of this book over and over again to HIS purpose-which is always the best purpose. A couple times it looked like it may happen and then it didn’t. Another time I even walked away from a chance to make it happen because it didn’t feel right. All along I stood firm, this is His book, His voice, not mine.
I waited and waited some more….
Then one day, after coming home from therapy with Ellis, I got the call from Blythe-we had an offer for a book deal! This time I knew it was the one we were to act on. Everything about it felt right.
We spent some time ironing out the details with them, getting everything set in stone. On September 23rd (26 months to the day my husband died), I made it official and signed with Barbour Publishing to publish my very first book.
Dream #2 realized.
This book will be a memoir that tells our story in ways you have never heard with details I have kept intimately private. It is my entire journey laid bare: every difficult, heart breaking, joyful, momentous, redemptive bit of it. My prayer is that it appeals to people from all walks off life in all seasons of life as that’s how it was intentionally written.
I have been writing in some shape or form since I was a young girl, but I’ve only been writing consistently for the past 5 1/2 years. I realize the opportunities we’ve had as a family, in the last year alone, is pretty unheard of. I also realize they are not the type of opportunities that come along every day. It is humbling. Extremely humbling.
We are all so grateful for every open door the Lord has given us to share His story with the world and encourage others towards hope. It is something that will never be taken for granted.
I wanted to let you know I am so thankful for YOU and for your support. For all who encouraged me in my writing, who begged for a book to be written, but most importantly to each of you who prayed for our story to be told, this moment is the fruit of your prayers. As I type this, again through tears, I think on how incredible each of you are and how deeply this community has inspired me. You are never far from my heart. Ever.
The book will be published in October of 2016. We will keep you in the loop throughout the process. Trust me, we will need your help in spreading the word about this project, and yes also buying the book :)
So that is my major announcement. The day everything was set in stone I thanked the Lord for providing another avenue in which we could tell of the work He’s done in our lives. Then I just smiled at the thought of Joel, my #1 cheerleader. The moment he had always encouraged me toward had now come. His life and legacy continues through his family in ways far beyond what any of us had ever dared to dream. And I believe there’s no one smiling bigger at this moment than he.
That all will see how great.
I love you all!
PS-Ready for the book to come out NOW? So am I! But don’t worry I will be blogging in the meantime. We also have lots of cool things planned while we wait. Next on the agenda? A complete website overhaul happening in the next few months. I’m so excited to share with what we have been working on. Trust me, you’ll love it.